Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Greening your green...

Deanwood is smack dab in the middle of a GREEN REVOLUTION, babeee!  In 2009 Deanwood was selected by national winner CarbonFreeDC to be a pilot neighborhood for green retrofitting of homes, called Extreme Green Neighborhood Makeover.  Deanwood is a neighborhood of oooold homes with ill-fitting windows, improper insulation, settling, and outdated appliances and this makeover for 10 families was welcomed.  

Deanwoodians were hopeful CarbonFreeDC would find additional funds to retrofit more houses but that's not happened yet.  Just as we were settling back in, lo and behold, Deanwood had the chance to be a site for solar passive house!  Renowned Parsons, New School was in town scoping out the 2009 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition to prepare for its own submission in 2011.  They were also looking for a working class DC neighborhood in which to actualize its brewing thoughts.  (BAM, Deanwood got in the mix! h/t Kim Morton, Shana Mosher, and Dennis Chestnut)  A new component of the competition is affordability of the end product--a house.  Parsons wanted to do more than just design and build a house that would just be a model down on the National Mall and packed up and shipped back to New York.  Noooo, they wanted to design and build a home and leave the home in DC.  Building a home would save on their costs but more importantly it would really embody the spirit of the Solar Decathlon--building real world homes for environmental sustainability and affordability for the builder and the homeowner. 

In March Parsons and its team of students held a community meeting with overwhelming turnout and excitement for this opportunity--still a lot of neighbors wanting retrofits but also wanting to actually learn about the process and help build the home (that's Deanwoodians for ya, always learning and helping).  Parsons had already committed to build the Deanwood-Parsons Solar House regardless of its selection into the Decathlon which makes it all the more sweeter to know Parsons WILL be one of 20 collegiate teams in the 2011 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition!

This weekend Deanwoodenizen is headed to NYC to get an update on the students' work to make the Deanwood-Parsons Solar House a reality.  I'm psyched about the opportunity to cross the intersection of affordability, quality housing, and environmental sustainability!  Stay tuned, better yet get involved!  Send a comment so you can get linked in to the GREEN REVOLUTION, babeee!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Good lookin' out...

  • Mayor Fenty will give his State of the District Address at the Deanwood Community Center and Library (hopefully no changes).  The DCCL is the manifestation of a decades old battle neighbors fought to see come to fruition.  The opening is expected in June--just in time for summer swimming and lounging outdoors.  UPDATE: Washington Post's write-up of the SODA

  • A real "white linen tablecloth" restaurant is bursting open--Ray's the Steaks ribbon cutting is happening!  Politicos and local Joes will click glasses and forks over quality foods.  UPDATE: Check fellow Ward 7 blogger, Life in the Village's, coverage!

Monday, April 5, 2010


Deanwood Friend and Supporter, as a part of its budget balancing efforts the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has proposed closing the Deanwood Metro Station.  The Deanwood station is in Ward 7 and is the only station in the District proposed to be closed.  We need as many people as possible to email by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 with the following message.

Office of the Secretary
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
600 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
ATTN: Docket B10-2
F: 202-962-1133

I oppose the WMATA proposal to close the Deanwood Metro Station, the ONLY station in Ward 7 and the District slated for closing. This shortsighted move will harm the neighborhood and the neighborhood's riders who rely on the station to get to jobs in downtown DC and in outer Maryland.

As WMATA searches for new revenue, I urge WMATA’s new joint development director Steve Goldin to move aggressively to implement the Deanwood Metro Station's transit-oriented development as proposed in the Deanwood Strategic Development Plan.  Please contact Gizachew Andargeh, Ward 7 Neighborhood Planner in the District Office of Planning, at (202) 442-7600 or email

My neighbors and I stand ready to work with Mr. Goldin and the Board to move the Deanwood Metro Station's transit-oriented development forward. Thank you.

It is my hope that this proposed closing will spur WMATA, Valerie Santos, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, and Harriet Tregoning, the Director of the Office of Planning, to move AGGRESSIVELY with the transit-oriented development proposed in the Deanwood Strategic Development Plan.

UPDATE:  WASHINGTON CITY PAPER WROTE UP A QUICKIE ON THE "COST-SAVING" (hmmm) PROPOSAL.  WMATA's board meeting on the proposals will be Thurs., April 22.